There is no escaping change. We are each in a constant state of transformation as we travel through life, moving closer to death with every hour and day that passes. Daylight turns to night, as summer to winter. I am certainly no exception to this truth. I've moved house roughly every year since I was a teenager. I've worked in countless different jobs in countries around the globe, shedding identities that have become too small or ill fitting, trying on new ones that catch my eye in a perpetual motion of human re~creation. I've been headbanger, street person, accident victim, backpacker, corn de-tasseler, waitress, farm hand, bartender, alcoholic, market artist, raw foodist.... to name a few. This latest transformation is yet another shedding of skin, a new identity to try on. I could feel it seeding within me last year, taking root more fully on journeys to Scotland, to Portugal, and England. But first, a bit of background.
I graduated from my counselling studies in 2009 and spent a year or so creating what was to be my private practice. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of deciding how I wanted to present my new business to the world. I received feedback that I had a fantastic niche. I found a name and branding colours I felt aligned with, I designed a logo with a graphic artist, I came up with a tag line, poured many long hours into building my own website, moved to Victoria, advertised, rented office space, and in 2010 "Living Radiance Wellness Services" welcomed its first clients. Quite an accomplishment. I was proud.
Recently, some four years later, after several geographical shifts and many beginnings and endings, the outfit of "Living Radiance Wellness Services" was no longer what I wanted to wear. Like a once favorite dress, now hanging in the back of the closet, it just didn't feel quite right anymore. In 2009 I had been passionately pursuing a path of conscious eating and raw food, and my business had been viewed and created through this lens. It looked amazing! And at that time, it felt like it was exactly what I was about.... healthful eating and living, relationships with food, transition to a plant based diet.
What I found somewhat mystifying however, is that very few of the clients I attracted came to me because of food related issues. I held well attended conscious eating workshops and raw dinners, yet my counselling clients were coming for something else. My website was certainly impressive and my business cards clearly stated "Conscious Eating Consultant", but this identity of mine never really developed. It remained in its infancy. Over time I noticed some resistance when I gave out my business card. I wanted to do the counselling work, but secretly I hoped that no one would ask me to help them with their eating. I wondered if my inability to fully embrace this identity had ultimately hidden it from the world. So how was I to serve? What new identity was waiting to be birthed through me? When the Transformation Game came into my life last year, I realized that the inward nudgings toward something different were beginning to manifest outwardly. I knew I was in a process of transition, but what next, exactly? I alternately pondered this question and pushed it away. As I have learned, with any big change there is bound to be resistance.
I think my biggest resistance to this change was having to re~do my website. I visited it often last summer, gazing at the chosen images and remembering the hours I'd spent in creation. I would close the page and put it aside, still not quite ready to let it go. How was this familiar in life? How many other times had I held on to something long past the expiry date, hoping that I might have a miraculous change of heart and suddenly step into this job, or relationship with renewed passion and purpose? Nope. Like so many others, for whatever reason, this chapter was just done. It had taught me what it was meant to and I had learned all I could. I would be taking the essence of "Living Radiance" with me, while I opened to its new expression. But I couldn't force the shift. Transformation must come in its own time.
When I returned from a training and powerful pilgrimage to Europe in late September, I could feel that I was ready. I sat down at my computer and became curious about what wanted to happen. I breathed, I wondered, I mused.....then in one electrifying moment, I let go.................. I found new colours that excited me and fonts that flowed. I added new images that seemed to speak to what was moving within me. Effortlessly it came together. Gradually the old green and orange website transformed into what you see today........ Ahhh!! Hitting that publish button was like what jumping off a very high cliff must feel like; intensely frightening and invigorating at the same time. Empowering too, for if I can jump off this cliff, what is stopping me from jumping off the next, and the next...? (Admittedly, I am a bit of an edgewalker, and hanging out on cliffs is something I've spent a lot of my time doing. Alas, that is another story.........................)
So I give you the newly born "Living Radiance", website and offerings of Treena Norrish, Transformational Counsellor and Facilitator. It seems perfect for me, doesn't it? Perfect for now, anyway, I write with a grin. And as I sit with that last line I am reminded that whilst it can be exhilirating and yes, necessary, to make big changes, there is also something deeply gratifying and purposeful in committing to a chosen path and really staying with it. Committing despite urges to run, or jump, or rip off that now uncomfortable outfit and haul it to the thrift store. I believe it needs to be a bit of both. And that feels mature of me to say. Committing while at the same time surrendering to change. This is my practice now.
Perhaps my life is my personal Transformation Game. Will I surrender and trust as the mysterious unfolding of divinity and destiny moves me along my path? How do I prepare, not knowing whether today will hold insights, or setbacks, or a bit of both? And what's my intention for play? The freedom I have found within the sometimes dizzying spin of the transforming motion is that there is something at the core of it all that doesn't change. While I whirl and twirl through transitions and identities, moving through decades and countries and relationships and jobs, sometimes at a speed which seems frivolous, I'm grateful to be in touch with a deeper Truth. This place of Truth is an inner presence that witnesses all; the elation, the sorrow, the magic, the ache. So, when Treena swears she can't make the decision or feel the grief or move through the pain, when she doesn't believe she's worthy, or when it's too frightening to commit and running seems like the only option, this Presence reminds her that at the same time as nothing is okay, everything is always okay. Ah, what a paradox. And what a sweet relief.
~Thank you for reading! Please visit the other pages on my website to see all of my new offerings. And, stay tuned for more on my journey to Portugal for the "Transformation Game Solo Training".
Transformation can happen when one least expects it. The same is true of synchronicity. I recall a day last August that stands out as the most powerfully synchronous day of my life thus far. And now, looking back on the events that have unfolded since that remarkable day, I'm deeply grateful that I trusted in the flow and the plan that the Universe had for me.
My powerful summer day of synchronicity started with a visit to a gifted card reader, Nazli Khosravi. Nazli told me many things that morning, most of which fit, except for one piece that I struggled with.
"I see you going on a journey next year," she said, "A journey that will take you overseas."
I laughed. I could not conceive of how this could possibly occur, and shrugged it off as a mystery. I left Nazli's, feeling grateful and remarkably open and free, as if I were floating effortlessly through the world.
My next stop was my fave eating spot in Victoria, Cafe Bliss. Bliss is the home of vegan, high-vibe food, and a regular hangout of mine. After a bliss~full lunch with my longtime Bliss companion, Clare, who had her Mom along from London for the Bliss adventure, I was flying. I wonder if it was the company, or the meal, or the potent chocolate mylkshake that ultimately elevated me to even greater openness and surrender? Perhaps it was simply, the deliciousness of everything.
As I left the cafe I knew I was being guided. I let go and enjoyed the ride to whatever might be ahead. An image of a dear friend I hadn't seen for awhile entered my mind. Two minutes later, there she was. Then, as I crossed the street toward The Market, a voice within said "You will see Pat when you enter the store and she has something important to tell you." Grinning, I flowed through the front doors. And, incase I wasn't already awed, as I approached the produce section there was Pat, who appeared to have been awaiting me. Amazed beyond amazed, I kept surrendering......
"Hi Tree!," she greeted me with a smile and a warm hug. We chatted for a moment. "Hey," she said, "I played this amazing game last night called The Transformation Game and I thought of you. I could SO see you facilitating this game!"
I said I'd never heard of the game, but that I was open to trying it, and asked her to keep me posted on details.
As evening approached I went over to my parents' place for dinner. I told my Mom about the incredible day I'd been having, and about the Game. Later, as we were cleaning up the meal, Mom randomly asked me, "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?"
I thought about it for a moment, somewhat surprised by the question, then answered "I'd go to Britain and do some kind of pilgrimage or spiritual walk." Mom was surprised at my answer, imagining that I would want to go somewhere more exotic. I admit that I, too, was somewhat baffled by my response, however I had been feeling connected to the Medieval history of England and Scotland in the months previously. As we talked, the desire to be there felt suddenly urgent.
Mom left the room and returned a moment later with a book she had taken out of the library earlier that day. The title was "The Spiritual Traveler, England Scotland, Wales. The Guide to Sacred Sites and Pilgrim Routes in Britain." Again, the synchronicity felt almost overwhelming, as if I were rushing toward something that I couldn't quite keep up with. I opened the book and turned to a map. The name Findhorn immediately stood out. "I want to go to Findhorn!" I said boldly, my finger on the name in the Northern part of Scotland. Mom mentioned that she felt called to explore the isle of Iona, also in Scotland, known by some as "the heart chakra of the world."
By now we were both swept up by this current of energy that had guided me all day. We sat down with cups of tea and opened Mom's ipad, intending to google "The Transformation Game," curious to discover more after my talk with Pat. Both Mom and I gasped when we saw the words "Findhorn Foundation" come up on the screen. The Transformation Game had originated at Findhorn! We clicked on the website, both of us literally screaming, completely transfixed by the unfolding events. "What is going on here?" I asked, laughing. "WOW!" We clicked through the website pages. There was a Transformation Game Facilitator's Training Workshop offered at Findhorn in May the next year, and I knew I was going. Before I even saw the Game or what it was about, I said yes.
Nine months later, in May of this year, Mom and I boarded a plane to Glasgow, via London. I had, indeed, committed to making the journey, knowing from my innermost depths that this was my destiny. Once committed, everything had aligned. We took a train north from Glasgow and arrived in Findhorn on May 9th. My two week training started the following day, at Cluny Hill College, part of the Findhorn Foundation.
The training was intensive, with 8-12 hour days and only one day off for the five of us that had come. Findhorn welcomed me fully. It wasn't until my second week there that I really started to feel the place. I realized that I was being held so completely and gently in what I would describe as a womb-like environment. A profound peacefulness rested underneath everything, palpable once I allowed the chatter of my mind and the demands of my schedule to fall away.
I fell in love with each person in our little training group, aptly named "The Spaghetti Group" by our German trainer, Angela, as we often managed to weave ourselves into elaborate tangles and knots. Spending an intensive two weeks with a small group can have its challenges, however I felt only tenderness, support and respect from my comrades on the path. I connected most deeply with Catherine, from England, my roommate. Belly laughs and forest walks helped get us through our gruelling days, as well as hot water bottles and late night tea. Through the training I was pushed to my edges. I surrendered, and in so doing learned to appreciate my wisdom and all the gifts that were mine to offer, while also appreciating others. I was accepted in my vulnerability, and in turn I accepted myself.
The Findhorn community, from my perspective, truly is a loving, generous family of people from many different countries and backgrounds, coming together to co-create a vibrant, inspirational, intentional space for spiritual healing, learning and growth. Devas and fairies abound. The many birds sing sweetly and every plant seems to vibrate with an aura of happiness and contentment. I was mystified by the way that Findhorn opened me with such grace and gentleness, almost without my awareness. In this magical environment the Transformation Game came fully to life for me, and I understood from all levels why the Game had called me here. The Transformation Game is a powerful therapeutic tool, yes, but it's really so much more than that.......
I'm immensely grateful for the opportunity to learn about the Game from the Source where it originated. Now an accredited Transformation Game facilitator, I carry this tool into the world and honour the sacred, life-changing energy it holds. And, it seems that Nazli's cards spoke the Truth.... indeed I did make a journey this year, a journey overseas to a land of transformation...... that has left me forever changed.
Here it is almost winter Solstice time, promising the return of the light. I, too, feel a surge of glowing power unfurling within me, so beautifully reflected in the world outside.
I've been on leave from my counselling practice for the 2013 year, and during this time away from my soul's calling, I have learned so much about myself and what is important to me.
In all honesty, my entry in to the counselling world several years ago was a tough one, and in many ways I didn't know if I was cut out for all that this role entailed. I entered with such enthusiasm and passion, not fully prepared for the reality of what it meant to open a private practice. I loved the work, felt so honoured to hold space for the delicate unfolding of my clients' lives, yet this seemingly wasn't enough to get me through, to pay the bills, to do the marketing, and stay afloat. I guess you could say I just couldn't sustain what I'd hoped would finally be the "answer."
And so, I took some time to ponder, to re-calibrate, to process. I embarked on some new and rewarding adventures that helped me ground and decide what it was that really mattered, what it was that my heart was truly seeking and wanting to express. I found myself returning to Salt Spring Island, my home from 2001- 2004, and here I am, by the fire in my cozy cabin. As I sit here, the light preparing to return again, I have a new understanding of what actually happened for me, beyond all the obvious financial and business related excuses. I just didn't feel worthy.
What a tough realization to step into, and yet at the same time, what a gift! A gift to finally know this, to really get it, feel the shame of it, the pain of it, and let it have its way with me. Ouch. As I felt into it I came to see how cunningly this limiting belief has wound its way through every part of my life, and, as a result, had me create a world that never seemed to be in alignment with my desires and dreams.
Having come to this realization, wrestled with it, painted it, written it, cried it out, and hopefully, accepted it, I am now able to act from a more empowered place, knowing that I am so much more than this limiting and untrue belief. What a relief to discover that in being inherently worthy, I have nothing to prove! And, thankfully, as I integrate the true belief that I am a worthy and powerful being, the world around me begins to reflect it, as I emerge again to serve in the way my heart most desires.
Funny how those soul callings never leave us, no matter how the ego mind tries to plan and protect, ultimately keeping us in a safe yet oh so small existence. I seem to keep learning, in many different ways, that I did not come here to be small, to live small, and when I do, I suffer. And, as in my previous post, when heart is my guide, I am always lead to the HIghest expression of myself, if I am brave enough to listen to and trust in that guidance.
I've learned that while I love serving as a counsellor and facilitator, it is not "the answer." As is taught in A Course In Miracles, nothing outside me can be my salvation, each path is simply another way to share, to grow, and most importantly, to love. I am here to love, and it just so happens that the way my soul wants to do that is through helping others realize their own light, their radiance, their truth. How does that saying go, We always teach what we need to learn?
And so, I am returning to my counselling practice again, infused with a deeper awareness of who I am and what I am offering, and a palpable desire to serve the planet at this time when love and understanding are so desperately needed. I have adopted a new outlook on payment, as I believe that everyone should have access to healing that can assist them on their own journey of transformation. Just as I have been so blessed with infinite support and caring from so many, I feel called to offer affordable support to those in my community whose hearts are hurt and in need of a reminder that they are not alone.
Thank you for reading. I wish you all a beautiful Solstice. May the light in your hearts be felt and shared.
Artist: Autumn Skye Morrison www.autumnskyemorrison.com/
It has taken me many years to know the language of my heart. The gentle tone it uses when it speaks, the feelings that arise as I share, experience, and connect with the world inside and around me.
I have learned through difficulty, through anguish, through failure and strife that the critical voice in my head is not on my side. I spent many years listening to this council, only to find myself spinning amidst familiar patterns, lost in the thick underbrush of my old stories.
Fortunately, about 10 years ago, I woke up. I remember the moment implicitly as one of the most agonizing ever, not long after I quit drinking, the moment I knelt down in a twisted heap and cried "I just can't do this anymore. Please show me another way." This surrender, I believe, was my heart whispering its guidance, my soul nudging me to grow beyond the edges of my familiar grooves. This guidance from my heart shone a light in my darkness. For this I am grateful.
Surrender, though, was just the beginning. Next came the arduous journey of healing and re-building. Once I took the substances away I was left with a knotted mess of feelings, long forgotten slivers in my being, gradually working their way out from beneath my skin, my psyche, the very core of me. Feeling hurt. Living hurt. It was the purging of an old way of being and a re-birth into a life vastly different from the one I had known.
Funny, from where I sit now it seems that I was always an observer to myself, that this heart of mine has guided me from the moment of my conception; it just took me awhile to become aware of its presence, and to trust it. I am still working on the trust piece. I imagine that I will work on this for the rest of my life. To trust that which I know to be true, and to follow the path of my heart's deepest calling. This is my work. This is what I am here to do; to listen, to learn, to love.
This blog is a sharing of what I have learned, and all that I am still learning. Thank you for reading. I am honoured by your presence. Let us remember that we are in this together.
~ Blessings to you.